Kara Dahn started her first business, Queen Bee Barrette, in an already-oversaturated market. When it came to hair accessories for kids, she and her business partner realized that there were just too many options – so they decided to create something unique: “stretch-and-sniff” hair ties. Dahn, her husband and her business partner met with a patent attorney and researched, developed and refined the idea over time. They added a cute tag with a picture of the scent. When kids pull the tag, the scent gets stronger.

In the beginning, Scenties faced several challenges: They worked with a factory that produced a sub-par product and had to find a new one to take over manufacturing. They also needed money to pay for marketing, buy inventory and hire reps to sell the product to stores. “At this point,” says Dahn, “our home was becoming a warehouse full of scented hair ties and empty packages. We’d sit in front of the television at night and mindlessly fill each package with the appropriate hair elastic.”

How SCORE Helped: 

Dahn worked with SCORE mentor Gene Murtha, who helped her develop and refine her product. Murtha also helped Dahn make important business connections. Dahn credits Murtha with helping her increase revenue and gain a foothold in the toy industry.

My Successes: 

After meeting those initial challenges, Dahn has presented her product at Toy Fair in New York City, launched new scents, and increased revenue.

My Mentors